I could not agree more with what Ard just said. I put nearly every fish on the reel. Trust me in this, if you get a seriously big fish on, the reel is the only way to go. You are not a match for a good drag.
What I look for in a reel is;
A. a good drag with a 'nonstick' startup.
B. big enough to hold the line/rod size appropriate
C. How it's made (Not a cheap piece of plastic that will blow up on the first big fish or my clutzy drop on the ground)
In that order. I have reels I love I didn't pay a ton for. I also have reels I love I paid a ton for. The only thing they have in common is they don't let me down when I get a big line burner fish on. Cost is nonfactor for the most part. For me....... I'm willing to give up food for the right reel.
If you look around you can generally get a really nice reel for just cents on the dollar. I got a big Tibor Pacifica, brand new in the box never been used for less than half price. By big, the biggest they make. Albright has year end closeouts this time of year. You can get a darn nice reel from them in some cases for about 30 cents on the dollar. I've bought things on ebay I have almost felt guilty about. Don't hop on the first thing you see. If you decide what you want and are willing to wait for a while there is a good chance you can get a deal you should have been wearing a mask for. One thing, don't ever bid on it till the last 8 seconds. Put a bid on it as high as you are willing to pay then wait till 8 seconds to confirm it. All you do by going earlier is give them a reason, and the time to up the bid. Sierra Trading Post has fly reels up to 70% off. Brand new in the box. Madison River Fly Company has closeouts that can get you a seriously nice reel for minimum cost.
The reason a good drag is a good thing;
Some guy with a good grooming sense (hey where's the Mustache smiley?) and fish I bet he put on the reel.
So in conclusion, learn to put them on the reel, get a reel with a decent drag, grow a mustache. (Take that JP! Beat you to it this time!